Rocket Appartamento - sudden excessive overheating - Page 2

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
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#11: Post by Nunas »

No, I've never had this happen. But, when I had a pressurestat controlled machine (a Magister), it used a Sirai, which is a commercial duty one with an inbuilt 3-pole relay. They're built like tanks. From the photos on that link I sent, I think yours is a Mater, which is considerably more fragile. On the other hand, Mater pressurestats are known to have a tighter dead band, and therefore better regulation. You've got nothing to lose by tweaking the adjustment down a bit and seeing if your pressure can be set back to where it should be.

If that does not work, then you could possibly remove it and see if a bit of crud is blocking the opening. On the other hand, they aren't particularly expensive to just replace on the assumption that they might be bad (~40 to 50 dollars, I think). Unlike the Sirais, the Maters are not serviceable, as they're a sealed device. Bear in mind, not having your specific machine to mess with, and never having had one, this is only a guess on my part! Hopefully, someone with an Apartemento who has tinkered with it will chime in and confirm my diagnosis, or come up with some other possibility.


#12: Post by jtferraro »

I've had issues with my Appartamento overheating too, to the point it flips the fuse and I have to open the top cover to reset it. This was happening on more than one occasion when I first purchased the machine. Since it was under warranty, SCG sent me a new Mater pressure stat. I installed it, it seemed to solve the problem for a while, but it eventually happened again, even after turning down the pressure. Once I purchased an Eric's thermometer, I realized it was still running hot and turned the pressure stat down further. It doesn't seem to happen anymore, but I currently have my steam boiler adjusted between .6 and .8 bar.


#13: Post by JRising »

HedonisticBeans wrote:Thanks, Any experience on how a pressure Stat could come out of spec.?
Membrane hardening with age, perhaps.

HedonisticBeans (original poster)

#14: Post by HedonisticBeans (original poster) »

I got the machine back today.

Technicians said partially clogged pipes.
They did a full clean.

Still idling at 95 Celsius.
And reaches 101 Celsius when brewing.

I've never had such high temperatures.

The other difference is the boiler gauge.

It's never gone over 1.2 bar
It fluctuates between 1.7 and 2.

Now it's fluctuating between 1.2 and 1.4.


#15: Post by JRising »

Nunas wrote:Bear in mind, not having your specific machine to mess with, and never having had one, this is only a guess on my part! Hopefully, someone with an Apartemento who has tinkered with it will chime in and confirm my diagnosis, or come up with some other possibility.
100% Correct.
When they begin to show signs of fatigue, they can be adjusted down to maintain an upper pressure of 1.3, but the deadband will be widening.
Having a back-up pressostat isn't a bad idea. They're not aging when not in use. What ages them is the flexing of their membrane, mineral deposits on their membrane and, in time, carbon build-up on their contacts. Make sure that the back-up pressostat is a 16 amp if it is or is going to be wired to control the element directly.

An appartamento that was originally wired to have the p-stat controlling the powerboard may have a less than 16 amp microswitch on the p-stat.

HedonisticBeans (original poster)

#16: Post by HedonisticBeans (original poster) » replying to JRising »

Hi John

What's dead band mean in this context?

Meaning how wide it'll fluctuate?
Before it used to fluctuate between 1ish and 1.2.
With increased dead band, it'll widen, as it has now, to between 1 and 1.4?

I'll probably get an OEM/stock spare P-stat.
Isn't a like - for - like replacement ideal?


#17: Post by JRising »

Correct, deadband is how far it goes between on and off.

Like for Like is good, so long as the machine was originally manufactured with a 16 amp pressostat controlling the relay directly. Like for like is good if it's still under warranty and might want the manufacturer to replace it.
The machine is an appartamento, so it may have been built with an 8 amp p-stat, controlling the relay on the powerboard. Leaving it that way on a machine that you plan to use daily will burn out the relays on the powerboards too often. If it is an 8 amp p-stat, it should be replaced with a 16 amp p-stat and wired to control the element, or if you want to get more life out of the 8 amp relay, it should be wired to a relay separate from the expensive powerboard. The appartamento is not a bad machine, but as the cheapest think Rocket makes, built from the cheapest components with the most cost-savings applied, it can use some help if you want it to last. All machines can use some help.

HedonisticBeans (original poster)

#18: Post by HedonisticBeans (original poster) »

If my p Stat is malfunctioning, what explains the sudden drop in water flow

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#19: Post by Nunas »

The pressurestat in an HX machine, such as the Apartemento, has nothing whatsoever to do with water flow. It only has to do with boiler pressure/temperature. The water in an HX is pumped from the reservoir, through a tube that passes through the boiler to get heated, but is isolated entirely from the boiler water. The boiler water is only used for steam and hot water. The Apartemento has a vibe pump; the most common reason for water flow dropping off is a failing vibe pump. Note, however, that what you are seeing on your machine appears to be a drop-off in water debit. Vibe pumps for espresso machines are made to produce pressure at low water volume. Water debit measurement is a relatively high flow (for an espresso machine) that is not indicative of the flow during brewing. Also, as they run, they heat up. Most vibe pumps (maybe all in espresso machines) have a duty cycle (typically 50/50 on/off) and a max run time (typically 60 seconds). I've never bothered to test one to see if they normally have reduced water debit while running. In any case, from what I see, you still have plenty of life left in your pump.

HedonisticBeans (original poster)

#20: Post by HedonisticBeans (original poster) »

Another woe

Today, as expected, it heated up to 98 Celsius.
I pulled a shot.

It then gradually dropped to and settled at 65 Celsius.
So from overheating to not under heating.

Turned off and and on. Still.
Turned off for an hour then on. Same.
Turned it off for a few hours.
Then it went back to absurdly high at 98.

I have a pressure Stat coming.
Couldn't find a Campini ty 85b.
So I got a Ma Ter d45x (xp 110)